A tech entrepreneur aims to make spreadsheets easier to use
Since he was in middle school in upstate New York, Jason Chan has been fascinated with technology and entrepreneurship, and he was determined to launch a successful business.
Two years ago, he achieved that goal when he co-founded Subset, a technology company and collaborative spreadsheet app. After securing funding from a venture capital firm and angel investors, he moved to San Francisco because, in Chan’s words, “that’s where people start software companies.”
Chan says that his experiences at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business prepared him to launch his own business. His studies in finance gave him the technical skills, internships gave him valuable work experience, and his participation in the Alternative Investment Club gave him a broad view of the world of investing. After graduating in 2017 with a degree in finance, he worked as an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and, later, as an associate at PSG, a growth equity firm.
“My co-founder and I did a lot of spreadsheet work, and we were riffing one day and we were like, ‘What about spreadsheets?’ They haven’t changed in 40 years. It’s always been Excel, Google Sheets,” he recalls. “We were both experts at spreadsheets, so we figured out how to give the spreadsheet superpowers so it’s easy for everyone to use.”
Chan values the guidance he’s received from a former Fordham professor, John McCombe, GABELLI ’82, the president and director of distribution at Richard Bernstein Advisors.
“He’s still a mentor to this day,” Chan says. “He was the first professional person I told that I wanted to start a new company. He was very supportive right from the start. He said, ‘I know you want to do this. You should do it.’”
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